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Participants of United Way's On Track To Success pose with their purchases at Devonshire Mall on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017.Participants of United Way's On Track To Success pose with their purchases at Devonshire Mall on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017.

UWindsor helps students get On Track To Success

It’s an experience Asheley wanted to hold onto forever.

And so, the 13-year-old snapped photos as she and her friends excitedly explored Devonshire Mall, trying on new clothes in anticipation of the first day of high school.

“It was the best day,” Asheley said, who will be going into Grade 9 at Assumption College Catholic High School in September.

“I took lots of pictures so I can remember this moment and look back and say, ‘remember when I went shopping?’”

Asheley was among a group of 50 students who are part of the United Way’s On Track to Success Program.

United Way's Alicea Fleming talks to participants of On Track To Success at Devonshire Mall on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017.

United Way's Alicea Fleming talks to participants of On Track To Success at Devonshire Mall on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017.

The program provides resources to families in Windsor and Leamington who are unable to afford tutoring, mentoring, counselling, transportation and school supplies.

On Thursday, Asheley and 20 other students from Assumption, Cardinal Carter and Westview Freedom Academy secondary schools shopped for back to school supplies at Devonshire Mall thanks to a $1,000 donation from the University of Windsor’s CUPE Local 1393.

Also in the program are Leamington District Secondary School and Honourable W.C. Kennedy Collegiate.

“It’s really important to ensure that these students have what they need to start school,” said Alicea Fleming, On Track to Success’s West Windsor program coordinator.

“It also provides a really fun trip for some students who don’t get to do the traditional back to school shopping trip with the family.

“This experience itself can also be really valuable.”

University of Windsor’s Sara McNorton said many of these students might end up at the University after high school and it’s important to support them through this program.

“On Track to Success really resonated with me,” McNorton said, who worked at the United Way last fall as a sponsored employee.

“As a union, we thought it would be important to give these students as much support as we can to help them thrive in high school.”

For more information about the program, visit www.weareunited.com.